I am very happy to be supporting the British Lung Foundation’s ‘Get tested’ campaign for World COPD Day 2010.
Research by the charity reveals that nearly 3.5 million people (7.4%) in the UK are at a high risk of having the lung condition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and are unaware they could have it.
Previous research from the charity showed there are currently 2.8 million people living with the condition who are undiagnosed, however this new research suggests the possibility that there are now 700,000 more than originally thought.
The Opinion Matters research, commissioned by the BLF, surveyed over 1,000 respondents across the UK with no history of diagnosed lung disease and asked them whether they had symptoms of COPD such as breathlessness, a regular cough, phlegm and wheeze.
COPD is an umbrella term for a number of conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is a progressive, irreversible lung disease yet it is both preventable and treatable and early diagnosis and treatment can slow the progression of the illness.
In Rother Valley it is estimated that 380 people currently suffer from COPD. However due to the amount of people who are currently undiagnosed the actual figure is likely to be higher.
COPD is a life changing condition, but is both preventable and treatable if diagnosed early. I urge Rother Valley constituents to ensure you are aware of the early symptoms of the disease such as breathlessness, a persistent cough or wheezy chest and to take the BLF’s online breath test or ask your GP for a lung function test.
The BLF’s Online Breath test is available at www.lunguk.org/breathtest or for more information about COPD phone the BLF helpline on 08458 50 50 20.